Nine companies have submitted proposals to conduct a municipal fiber-optic network feasibility study as of Tuesday, August 13.
The request for proposals went out last month after the Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation committed $50,000 to the study.
The study will analyze which model of community-based fiber-optic internet might fit Falmouth and how much laying the infrastructure might cost.
The feasibility study will help the town “know what the options are,” said Courtney Bird, a member of a group of concerned Falmouth residents who organized a meeting in June to gauge interest in a community-based fiber-optic network. After the meeting, they approached the EDIC with thoughts of a feasibility study.
The original goal was to receive a report from the feasibility study in time to process the results prior to spring town meeting. Now, Mr. Bird said, the group is looking towards next fall’s town meeting. However “the sooner it gets done the better,” he added.
Mr. Bird noted his enthusiasm about the speed at which the EDIC was able to issue a request for proposals. David Isenberg, another member of the group, said he was happy to see that top firms had submitted proposals for the study.
EDIC Executive Director Michael DiGiano said the group hopes to complete the selection process by the end of September. The study itself should take about six months to complete, Mr. DiGiano added.
The EDIC also received proposals for a coworking space feasibility study. The study will assess whether there is sufficient demand and economic potential for a coworking space in Falmouth. A coworking space is a shared office environment where workers pay a membership fee to gain access to the space.
The EDIC approved up to $25,000 for the study, said chairman Christopher Land.
Mr. DiGiano reported that four companies submitted proposals for the co-working space feasibility study. The study will chart out possible locations for a coworking space if there is enough interest in it. It should take up to six months to complete, Mr. DiGiano noted. Members of the EDIC hope to narrow down the pool of proposals by the end of September.